Friday, August 29, 2008

How Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Stays in Great Shape

With the surprise pick of Sarah Palin as the Republican VP candidate, people are buzzing about her policy stands, political strengths and weaknesses, and the like. But I have a feeling that upon seeing photos of the Alaska governor today for the first time, many Americans are asking themselves another question, too: "How does someone in her 40s who has had 5 kids stay in such great shape?" And since this is a health blog, we're more interested in the health and fitness issues than the political ones anyway.

As it so happens, the Wall Street Journal interviewed Sarah Palin about her unusual fitness routine and workout regimen for the premiere issue of its new WSJ Magazine.

While you might not eat mooseburgers or caribou meat as Governor Palin does, you may learn something from her experiences about how a very busy person manages to keep fit and healthy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cervical Dysplasia: Not Always a Cause for Concern

A diagnosis of cervical dysplasia may be disturbing to women, but it's not necessarily an indication of cancer. Dysplasia simply means abnormal growth in an organ or in cells, but a woman who is diagnosed with cervical dysplasia will want to keep an eye on it because this condition can later turn into cancer.

Cervical dysplasia, also called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), is considered a pre-cancerous condition. The Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia looks at the causes, symptoms, and risk factors for cervical dysplasia.

The Women's Health Channel takes a deeper look at symptoms, diagnosis, and staging of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer.

The Mayo Clinic also has an overview of the subject.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bernie Mac Dies of Sarcoidosis at 50

The rumors that Bernie Mac is dead are actually true now: the 50-year-old comedian has died in a Chicago hospital from complications due to pneumonia. While it may seem strange to hear of someone dying of pneumonia in this day and age, it's not that uncommon, especially when one has an underlying disease such as AIDS or, in the case of Bernie Mac, sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosisis a relatively rare immune system disease, the formation of small, grain-like lumps called granulomas. The granulomas can clump together to form larger lumps, which become inflamed. Though the granulomas can occur in different organs or in the lymph nodes, almost 90% of people with sarcoidosis are affected in the lungs.

Bernie Mac became ill in 2004 and the next year announced that he had sarcoidosis, according to a profile in the Chicago Tribune.

The Mayo Clinic has more on the causes, complications, and treatment of sarcoidosis.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Questions and Answers on Christina Applegate's Breast Cancer

Getting a diagnosis of breast cancer can be a shock at any age, but it's even more surprising when it happens to someone young, as it did to 36-year-old actress Christina Applegate. It's unusual to hear of someone getting the disease at that young an age, but it does happen. A good friend of mine from college was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30s, but unfortunately by the time it was caught it was too far advanced. She died at age 35.

The good news is that Christina Applegate's breast cancer was caught early and she has a very good prognosis. WebMD has put together an FAQ (frequently asked questions) on Applegate's breast cancer, so women can learn from her experience.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Dr. Oz Green Drink and "You: Staying Young," an Anti-Aging Guide

After the runaway success of their first few books, doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz are back with a new guide to staying health and living longer.

You: Staying Young is the latest book from Oprah Winfrey's favorite doctors, who are also the authors of You: The Owner's Manual, You: The Smart Patient, and You: On a Diet.

In the book, doctors detail their claim that many of the effects of the aging process are not just preventable but even reversible with lifestyle changes, such as the Dr. Oz green drink recipe that they mentioned on the Oprah show. (The Dr. Oz green drink recipe contains ingredients such as spinach, parsley, ginger, and cucumber, which sounds very healthy... wonder how it tastes?)

Winfrey has in the past featured the two, and maintains a Web page for the "Dr. Oz diet" on her Web site.

You: Staying Young is also the name of the TV show Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen have created for the Discovery Health channel. In the TV show the doctors take an overweight middle-aged couple and help to put them on the road to better health with their recommendations. Presumably they couple got to sample the now-famous Dr. Oz green drink recipe... don't know if they liked it, but according to the stats provided by Dr. Oz, the couple improved their health dramatically after a couple of weeks following the guidelines of You: Staying Young.

Learn more about Dr. Oz's anti-aging detox tips.